AN expat is set to make a comeback in the Italian Blind Golf Open this year.

Paul Appleyard, 44, who lives and works at the San Roque Golf Club, has had macular degeneration his entire adult life, leaving him without central vision.

But since taking up golf 15 years ago, he has represented England twice and was ranked number one in the country in 2008.

Now the golfer, who also came third in the 2008 World Championships, plans to make a comeback to the sport.

“I reached my goal of becoming a single figure handicap golfer and I wanted to set some new goals,” he told the Olive Press.

“I am now working toward the 2014 World Championships and, who knows, hopefully the Olympics in 2016 when golf is included for the very first time.”

Denis Lafferty, managing director of Appleyard’s main supporter Saccone and Speed, added: “It never ceases to amaze me when I see him play.

“When he explains to me what he can and cannot see it blows me away that he can even hit the ball, never mind play like he does.”

Blind or partially-sighted golfers can use a ‘guide’ who acts as their eyes, and can do anything to aid the player, except take the shot.

Appleyard is now set to start his 2012/13 season on September 9 at Potters Bar Golf Club, Hertfordshire before moving on to Italy on October 1.

He is sponsored by Saccone and Speed, Med Golf and Barclays.

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